Apple express router or normal router

EverythingApple

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Jul 28, 2010
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#21
I used Airport Utility and selected "Join a wireless network". I selected my network, the one used by my primary router. You'll need to enter your wireless password. There should be an option to extend your wireless network. If it's an older version of the Airport Express, you may need this utility. The new Airport Utility doesn't work with older express units and the older version won't launch without the launcher available for download on that page.

This appears to be a good tutorial on the process.
Thanks! I'll try that. Right now I'm using it to connect my Samsung SmartTV to my wireless network using the Ethernet cable.
 

chris

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#22
Eventually, it had to happen. I've placed an order for an Airport Extreme. The refurbished model is now $129. My history with Apple's refurbished products has been great and those have been more expensive items like laptops, computers. I saw someone in a forum post about how the Airport Extreme offered the same range as his ASUS N66-U, which is what I have in my home. If there is any drop in speed, I'll gladly give that up for ease of use and greater stability. Some people like the ability to upload custom firmware to their routers. That's the furthest thing from my mind. I just want a solid, bullet-proof device that works well with my devices. Since we're primarily a Mac house (outside of a bazillion other WiFi devices), it's logical that the gateway is an Apple product. I'm not blindly buying it because it's from Apple. My history with the older model was very good. This one should be better and that's plenty for me.

Looks like it's time to bundle up the ASUS for eBay. I wonder if Craigslist might be a good idea -- to save on fees?
 

chris

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#23
Looks like my bundling up of the ASUS RT-AC66U was a bit premature. I received my Airport Extreme yesterday. After a quick phone call to Verizon to 'break my lease', configuration and setup went relatively fast. My wired connection was super fast, as expected. Devices seemed speedy and my Airport Express was still in place, its job is to extend my wireless network to the furthest point in my home. Typically, this bedroom is the worst for WiFi connectivity. Routers alone don't help, but since installing the Airport Express, it hasn't been a problem.

My reason for going back to an Airport (the Extreme would be an upgrade from my previous model) was for increased stability. I was thinking that perhaps my Nest wouldn't go offline as much and my TiVos wouldn't drop connection between each other. These don't happen often, but I had hopes it would improve to where it never happens.

Continuing my testing, I fired up my Dropcam which is setup in this far bedroom. It's a good test device, since it demands a good connection. Within a few minutes, it started dropping the connection and the error message indicated a slower than necessary bandwidth. This was never an issue with the Asus. Using my iPhone 6, I opened Speedtest and did two checks while sitting in the room. I then installed the Asus and asked Verizon to once again break my lease and reboot my ONT. That's the process for switching out routers. I went back to this bedroom and fired up Speedtest. The results were overwhelmingly in favor of the Asus.

IMG_1118.PNG


I boxed up the Airport Extreme and at some point, I'll upgrade to the Asus RT-AC68P (or U). The P is exclusive to Best Buy and has a slightly faster processor. Helpful if you are connecting a USB drive. This might be a good option to setup a TimeMachine for my wife's computer.

The Netgear R7000 Nighthawk is still a consideration, but I'm not a fan of their admin interface. People seem to suggest they don't support their products once a newer model arrives. ASUS routers have good support and allow for open source firmware. People seem to rave about Merlin's firmware releases. Since I'm back on the RT-AC66U, I updated to Merlin's latest release. Maybe that'll provide the improved stability I was looking for from the Extreme.

Moral of the story...the grass isn't always greener, even if it comes from Cupertino.
 

chris

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#24
In order to setup my Airport Express, I have to connect it directly to my Mac using an ethernet cable and then using Airport Utility 5.6.1. You need a script to open that. It works, but it's wonky. I was browsing Amazon and they had an ASUS EA-N66 repeater. Same concept, but should work well with my router. At $80, I'm not buying it. Amazon had one for $30 on their warehouse deals. At that price, I figured what the heck.

I think my grand plan is to upgrade the router and move the old router to the second floor of my house. The repeater I'm going to wire to a position that puts it closest to my backyard. I don't spend a lot of time there, yet. However, I do plan on putting a patio in one day. I'm going to need a good signal, so that'll do the trick.

I've found that looking at routers can be a time suck. So many features, speed tests and customer feedback.
 

chris

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#25
The ASUS EA-N66 was crap, from what I can tell. Despite going through the setup process, it never appeared on my network and there was no way to see the configuration. Odd product. I've found a second Airport Express (also ancient), so that's set up too.

I've been itching to upgrade my main router. While the ASUS RT-AC66 beat the Airport Extreme, there are routers that are scored higher. I decided the big plan was to go with an ASUS RT-AC68P and use the older ASUS AC66 in bridge mode. When it comes to scores, the AC68P is rated slightly below the Netgear Nighthawk R7000. Both are priced similarly. Well, today NewEgg sent me an offer to get 30 percent off a refurbished R7000. With support for TimeMachine, that could make for an easy way to keep my wife's computer backed up. For $125, it'll be a good deal if it works. I've heard they ship with the serial numbers blacked out and no support. I don't need support. If it works, it works. If not, I'll ship it back.

The Nighthawk will be my main router and the ASUS RT-AC66U will be placed on the second floor of my home in bridge mode. The Airport Express devices will be placed at the furthest rooms. I have a medium sized home. I could probably get by with just the R7000. That being said, I'm on a mission to seriously upgrade WiFi and routing throughout my home.
 

Santa

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Jul 2, 2009
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#26
I've had the ASUS RT-AC66U since a bit after it was released (2 yrs ago?). Have Merlin installed. It's been rock solid. More reliable and speedy than anything I've had before. We've got a small home business and it get's pounded pretty hard sometimes. When it dies, I'll almost certainly try whatever ASUS is pushing then. That said, we're not an apple house.
 

chris

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#27
I've had the ASUS RT-AC66U since a bit after it was released (2 yrs ago?). Have Merlin installed. It's been rock solid. More reliable and speedy than anything I've had before. We've got a small home business and it get's pounded pretty hard sometimes. When it dies, I'll almost certainly try whatever ASUS is pushing then. That said, we're not an apple house.
I have similar feelings about the ASUS RT-AC66U. The next logical jump would be the AC68R/U/P (all different versions of essentially the same router). I've found the higher end models are unstable (from what I've read) and not realistic for most users. They are more future proof, not offering any advantages.

I too feel pretty strongly about ASUS after my encounter with the Airport Extreme. For me, the decision to try the Nighthawk R7000 was based purely on price and performance. Everything I've read says it's in line with the AC68, plus it has faster USB thanks to a beefier processor. I plan on using it to connect a TimeMachine drive for my wife. It's been sitting in a box for a year. I had set her up with Crashplan downloading to our NAS, which in turn uploads to Crashplan online. Problem is, she never connects to the server.

I'll report back with my findings.
 

chris

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#30
I've had the ASUS RT-AC66U since a bit after it was released (2 yrs ago?). Have Merlin installed. It's been rock solid. More reliable and speedy than anything I've had before. We've got a small home business and it get's pounded pretty hard sometimes. When it dies, I'll almost certainly try whatever ASUS is pushing then. That said, we're not an apple house.
NewEgg has the ASUS RT-AC68U for $119. Granted, it's refurbished, but that's a wicked good price.
 

chris

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#32
That's a great price!
I had one in my cart, but it sold out. I ended up grabbing a second R7000 Nighthawk. At $125 shipped, tax-free – it's a fantastic deal. I'm not sure if they'll hit that price again. I've done testing throughout my home, working with different placements and antenna directions. My router has always lived in our basement, which is behind a metal door. Probably the worst case scenario. The R7000 seems to get higher strength than my AC66U, but it's still fighting an uphill battle through that door. I've got wired ethernet to the router, so I've decided to go the access point route, hooking up a second Nighthawk in AP mode. I've got more than acceptable coverage now, but wanted to finish the project. These retail for $200 plus tax, so I'm almost getting 2 for 1 and will completely upgrade my network.